Michael F. Aylward Partner

Boston, MA

Phone: (617) 439-7556 Fax: (617) 342-4913 Download VCard

Michael F. Aylward

Michael is a partner in the Boston office of Morrison Mahoney, where he chairs the firm's complex insurance claims resolution group.  For the past four decades, he has represented insurers and reinsurers in disputes around the country concerning the application of liability insurance policies to commercial claims involving intellectual property disputes, environmental and mass tort claims and construction defect litigation as well as bad faith claims arising out of such disputes. Michael has also served as an AAA-certified arbitrator in numerous insurance coverage matters and has testified as an expert in matters involving coverage and reinsurance issues arising out of such claims. He has taken a leading role in the major defense bar associations, including DRI, FDCC and IADC and is the President of the American College of Coverage Counsel.

Michael has delivered over a hundred papers over the past four decades on issues relating to insurance coverage, bad faith, emerging liability topics and, most recently, cognitive issues involving the reading of digital briefs by appellate judges; cyber-threats to the U.S. energy grid and the potential impact of the American Law Institute’s Restatement of Law, Liability Insurance on the scope and prosecution of bad faith claims in the United States.


  • Fallon v. Bond Brothers, Inc., 15-P-875 (Mass. App. Ct. March 2, 2017)(alleged bad faith failure to settle)
  • Rass Corporation v. Travelers Companies, Inc.,  90 Mass. App. Ct. 643 (2016)(“pre-tender defense fees; allocation, bad faith)
  • Crime, Coverage and the Clergy.  Defense Counsel Journal.  June 2002 (Vol. 70, No. 2)
  • Cynosure, Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 645 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2011)(availability of “personal and advertising injury” coverage for junk fax claims)
  • Terra Nova Ins. Co. v. Evan Fray-Witzer, 449 Mass. 406 (2007)(availability of “personal and advertising injury” coverage for junk fax claims)
  • City Fuel Corp. v. National Fire Ins. Co., 446 Mass. 638 (2006)(scope of commercial auto coverage for fuel spill)
  • CAT Internet Systems, Inc. v. Providence Washington Ins. Co., 333 F.3d 138 (3d Cir. 2002)(“personal and advertising injury” coverage for “cybersquatting” claims)
  • EnergyNorth Natural Gas, Inc. v. Continental Ins. Co., 781 A.2d 969 (N.H. 2001)(gas utility’s historical discharge of pollutants not an “occurrence”)
  • CPC Int’l, Inc.  v.  Northbrook Excess & Surplus Ins.  Co., 144 F.3d 35 (1st Cir.  1998)(scope of pollution exclusion under Rhode Island law)
  • SCA Services, Inc. v. Transportation Ins. Co., 419 Mass. 527 (1995)(affirming viability of “known loss” doctrine)
  • Concord Hospital v. New Hampshire Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Assoc., 633 A.2d 1384 (N.H. 1993)(interpretation of “claims made” reporting requirements)
  • Independent Petrochemical Corp. v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co., 995 F.2d 305 (D.C. Cir. 1993)(pollution exclusion)
  • Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. v. SCA Services, Inc., 412 Mass. 330 (1992)(pollution exclusion)


  • Reinsurance Desk Handbook, Thompson Reuters, (2015)
  • New Appleman insurance treatise, (2007 & 2010)
  • Emerging Issues in the CGL, National Underwriter, (2008)
  • Punitive Damages:  The Unfulfilled Promise of State Farm v. Campbell   For the Defense.  Defense Research Institute, (March 2005)
  • The Law and Practice of Insurance Litigation, (West 2005)=

  • Environmental Liability and Insurance treatise


  • Federal and State Environmental Litigation Presentation, The National Forum for Environmental & Toxic Tort Issues (FETTI), September 26, 2019
  • "ALI Restatement: What Happened and How it May Affect Extra-Contractual Claims," DRI, June 7, 2019

  • The Reluctant Insured: Ethical Issues and Settlement Tensions between Insureds and Insurers. Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium, Defense Research Institute (New York City, NY: December 2017)

  • American Law Institute Restatement, Law of Liability Insurance. Seminar, University of Connecticut Law School (Hartford, CT: November 2017)

  • The Rise of Third Party Litigation Funding and Its Implications for Disputes between Insurers and Policyholders. American College of Coverage and Extra-Contractual Counsel Third Annual Law School Symposium (Ann Arbor, MI: October 2017)

  • Update on Insurance Coverage for Long-Tail Pollution and Mass Torts. National Forum for Environmental and Toxic Torts Issues (Chicago, IL: October 2017)

  • A Question of Intent:  The Role of Fortuity in Liability Insurance. PLRB Claims Workshop  (Boston, MA:  April 2017)

  • Instituting Coverage:  The Future of the ALI’s Insurance Restatement.  DRI Regional Claims Conference  (Hartford, CT:  October 2016)
  • Insurance for Non-Coverage Lawyers:  MCLE Seminar (Boston, MA:  October 2016)
  • Reading Policies:  The Role of Interpretative Principles in Guiding Coverage.  DRI Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium (New York, NY: December 2015)
  • Update on Long-Tail Coverage Disputes.   FETTI Claims Conference (Chicago, IL:  October 2015)
  • Nanotechnology:  Liability and Coverage Issues.  Emerging and Environmental Claims Managers Association Claims Conference  (Captiva, FL:   May 2014)
  • Cyber Piracy:  Lessons Learned.  PLUS Seminar (Boston, MA: June 2013)
  • The Use and Abuse of Experts in Insurance Coverage Litigation.  DRI Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute (Chicago, IL: April 2013)
  • Insurers, Insureds and Their Lawyers.  Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (Boston, MA: November 2009)
  • The “Genuine Dispute” Doctrine:  Death of a Bad Faith Defense?  DRI Bad Faith Seminar (Boston, MA: June 2009)
  • Emerging Issues Concerning The Independent Counsel Doctrine.  Property Loss Research Bureau Regional Meeting (Providence, RI:  June 2009)
  • Third Party Litigation Funding.   Joint International Claims Conference (Barcelona: October 2008)
  • Other People’s Money:  Legal, Practical and Ethical Issues Arising Out of Additional Insured Claims.  DRI Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium (New York, NY: December 6, 2006)
  • Ethical Issues Arising Out Of Insurer Defense of Intellectual Property Cases.   Intellectual Property Litigation and Insurance Seminar.  DRI. (Miami, FL: November 2006)
  • New Trends In Court Interpretations of The Absolute Pollution Exclusion.  American Conference Institute (New York, NY:  December 2005)
  • The Blame Game:  Construction Defect Claims Under CGL Policies. DRI Construction Defect Litigation Seminar (Phoenix, AZ: September 2004)
  • Does Murder Pay?  When Is There  Coverage For Criminal Acts?  Property Loss Research Bureau National Claims Conference  (Chicago, IL: March, 2004)
  • Mold:  The Great Debate.  Property Loss Research Bureau.  St. Louis, Missouri (July 14, 2003)
  • Protecting The Privilege: Evidentiary Challenges In Coverage Litigation.  Defense Research Institute (2001)
  • "Y2K: The War Is Over!  Will The Coverage Battles Now Begin?  Defense Research Institute (Tampa, FL: February 2000)
  • Indoor Air Quality Claims and Sick Building Litigation.  International Association of Defense Counsel (Pebble Beach, CA: February 1997)
  • When Sweetheart Deals Go Sour:  Collusion, Consent Judgments and Coverage.  DRI Insurance Coverage Symposium (San Francisco, CA: June 1997)
  • In For A Penny, In For A Pound:  The Allocation of Defense Costs In Liability Insurance Coverage Disputes. British Insurance Law Association (London:  September 1996)
  • The Policyholder's Quest for a Joint and Several "Occurrence": North American Re Environmental Claims Conference (Nashville, TN:   October 1993)


  • National Foundation for Judicial Excellence (NFJE), Board Member 
  • American College of Coverage Counsel, President
  • Massachusetts Reinsurance Bar Association, Secretary (2009-2012)
  • American Law Institute, Advisor on Restatement of Law, Liability Insurance
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI), past member - Board of Directors, past Chair - Law Institute, and past Chair- Insurance Law Committee
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC), Chair - Reinsurance, Excess and Surplus Lines Section
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), Board of Editors, Defense Counsel Journal, past Chair - Reinsurance, Excess and Surplus Lines Committee
  • Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association (MassDLA), Chair - Insurance Law Committee
  • Society of Colonial Wars in Massachusetts, Lieutenant Governor

Honors & Awards

  • Elected by his peers to The Best Lawyers in America© to the Insurance Law guide (2019-2020)
  • Who's Who Legal: Insurance & Reinsurance (2019)
  • Selected to the Massachusetts Super Lawyers magazine list in Insurance Coverage (2008-2019)
  • Thomas E. Segalla Award from American College of Coverage and Extra-Contractual Counsel (2017)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated in Legal Ability & Ethical Standards, (2015)
  • DRI G. Duffield Smith Award for Outstanding Legal Writing, (2006)
  • DRI Outstanding Committee Chair, (2002)
  • Euro Money Guide To the World's Leading Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers

Boston, MA Office

250 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02210
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Areas of Practice

Bar Admissions

  • New Hampshire
  • Massachusetts


  • B.A., cum laude — Dartmouth College
  • J.D., cum laude — Boston College Law School

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